Forester men come up empty in quest to qualify for nationals

Up against the best competition in the Midwest, the top five players from the Huntington University men's tennis team battled at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Tournament, hosted by Davenport University on Sept. 12-14, but came up empty-handed in their quest to qualify for nationals.

Vlad Khudziy entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and claimed two wins on Thursday, knocking off Davenport's Matheus Carvalho 5-7, 6-2 (5) and then cruising past Gaston Raposo of Indiana Tech 6-1, 6-2, before being stunned by Raposo's teammate, Sriram Aranganathan. The unranked Warrior knocked Khudziy out of the tourney 2-6, 7-5 (5) on Friday to deny the Forester senior his third ITA Regional Tournament title.

In other singles action, Joseph Straznicky came up one match short of the semifinals. After disposing of Grace's Mike Humphrey 6-1, 6-3 and Vasant Palanisamy of Goshen 6-4, 6-0, 13th-seeded Straznicky finally met his match in Grace's Daniel Sanchez, who claimed a 6-1, 6-4 win to bring an abrupt end to Straznicky's run in the tourney.

Diego Inurritegui had an easy time of it in his opening round, dominating Indiana Wesleyan's Daniel Smith 6-2, 6-2 before being knocked out by Aquinas' Aaron Hendrick 6-3, 6-0.

Zakk Sparks and Jose Hungria didn't fare as well, each dropping their first match to make an early exit from the singles tournament.

In addition to going deep into the singles tournament, Khudziy teamed up with Hungria to advance to the semifinals of the doubles tournament. The second-seeded combo lived up to their billing through the first two days, making quick work of Davenport's Pell and van Antwerpen 8-4.

The Huntington duo went on to slip past Mathews and White of Indiana Wesleyan 9-7 and claim an 8-2 win over Denton and Pochop of Marian before the eventual doubles champions, University of Northwest Ohio's Rueda and Myburgh, claimed an 8-4 win over the Huntington pair.

Straznicky and Inurritegui made it to the second round after beating Marian's Albert and Trammel 8-4 while Sparks and Joe Brenneman came up short in their opening round, losing to Indiana Wesleyan's Wroughtin and Hornett 7-2.